Gov. Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 327, which aims to expand job opportunities for New Jerseyans by prioritizing skills and work experience over college degree requirements for certain state employment opportunities.
The Order directs the New Jersey Civil Service Commission (CSC) to identify the job classifications that require college degrees and determine which are appropriate to revise in the state’s classification plan, prioritizing the practical skills and experiences needed to effectively serve the public over strict educational requirements.
According to Murphy, this executive order will open the door to high-paying jobs, with salaries that can top $120,000 a year, for the hundreds of applicants who are rejected or dissuaded from applying each year to the state’s open employment opportunities due to educational requirements.
The order will take effect immediately, starting with a six-month period allowing the CSC to use its regulatory authority to identify the positions for which a college degree is not a necessity and take the steps needed to ensure that relevant job postings are aligned with this Order.
“Every American should have the ability to attain a good job with growth opportunities and secure their place in the middle class, regardless of whether or not they have a college degree,” said Murphy. “Employment qualifications for good-paying jobs in our state workforce should not exclude individuals with qualifying experience, unique skillsets, and diverse backgrounds. Today, we open the door to that opportunity for applicants across our state, and urge other states, as well as private sector employers, to remove barriers to opportunity.”
The de-emphasis of higher educational attainment as a requirement for employment has become a national trend for both public and private-sector jobs. With the signing of this executive order, New Jersey will join six states that have de-emphasized college degrees in hiring – including Maryland, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Colorado, North Carolina, and Utah.
“The New Jersey Civil Service Commission is honored to be tasked with implementing such an important initiative,” said CSC Acting Chair/CEO Allison Chris Myers. “Coming from a working-class background myself, Governor Murphy’s signing of this Executive Order is meaningful to me, both personally and professionally. This Executive Order recognizes the importance and weight that practical work experience and skills training hold in a society that prioritizes the 4-year degree for many entry level positions. I am excited to witness all of the new opportunities that will open up to New Jersey’s residents as a result of this order.”
“This Executive Order creates more opportunities for public work and strengthens the state’s hand in attracting the most qualified applicants to open positions,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.
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